Communications satellites for the German federal armed forces` foreign missions

Bremen-based space technology company OHB-System AG has today lodged a bid for the establishment and operation of a new satellite communications network for the German federal armed forces as part of a T-Systems team with Thales as a further partner.

To be known as SATCOMBw II, the communication system will improve the basis for ensuring flexible and global missions on the part of the German federal armed forces. Among other things, the German federal armed forces have been offered satellites for handling military voice and data transmissions. OHB-System AG’s role in the team will be to construct the military space segment including the geostationary satellites (known as “Little GEOs”), the related security systems as well as the ground stations for monitoring and controlling the satellites. In addition, OHB will be organizing the satellite launch and the initialization of operations once the satellites are in orbit. The company will be implementing the space segment with international partners which also have a proven track record in space technology. T-Systems, OHB-System and Thales will form a national team in which the partners’ respective technological skills supplement each other. T-Systems, a subsidiary of Deutsche Telekom, is the general contractor responsible for managing the communications network. With its many years of experience in military communications, Thales Communications will supply the necessary mobile ground equipment and antennas for the receiver and transmitter stations. The German federal armed forces currently do not have any military satellite capacity of their own but use the resources of the NATO allies on international missions.

Experience in the defense area

All the syndicate partners already have extensive experience in working with the German federal armed forces. T-Systems, for example, has been operating the existing military communications network for several decades. As an ICT (information and communications technology) provider, it additionally furnishes the German troops with the civil satellite capacity currently being used.

OHB-System is working on the SAR-Lupe satellite reconnaissance system, whose radar is capable of detecting details on the surface of the earth less than one meter in size. The first of five satellites is scheduled for launch in spring 2005.

Thales Communications is a long-standing supplier of tactical communications systems for the German federal armed forces. Among other things, it equips the German army and navy with navigation systems, tactical radio equipment as well as radio-relay and radar systems.

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Günther Hörbst
Head of Corporate Communications

Manfred-Fuchs-Platz 2-4
28359 Bremen

Phone.: +49 421 2020-9438
Mobile: +49 171 1931041